Prince of Wale’s birthday
Imposition of a convict
Apprehensive of a failure of provisions
A convict murdered
August.] All public labour was suspended for many days in the beginning of the month of August by heavy rain; and the work of much time was also rendered fruitless by its effects; the brick-kiln fell in more than once, and bricks to a large amount were destroyed; the roads about the settlement were rendered impassable; and some of the huts were so far injured, as to require nearly as much labour to repair them as to build them anew. It was not until the 14th of the month, when the weather cleared up, that the people were again able to work. The public works then in hand were, the barracks for the marine detachment; an observatory on the west point of the cove; the houses erecting for the governor and the lieutenant-governor; and the shingling of the hospital.
Thefts among the convicts during the bad weather were frequent; and a sheep was stolen from the farm on the east side a few nights prior to the birthday of his royal highness the Prince of Wales, for celebrating of which it had been for some time kept separate from the others and fattened; and although a proclamation was issued by the governor offering a pardon, and the highest reward his excellency could offer, emancipation, to any male or female convict who should discover the person or persons concerned in the felony, except the person who actually stole or killed the sheep, no information was given that could lead to a discovery of the perpetrators of this offence.
The anniversary of the Prince of Wales’s birth was observed by a cessation from all kinds of labour. At noon the troops fired three volleys at the flag-staff on the east side, after which the governor received the compliments usual on this occasion. The Sirius fired a royal salute at one o’clock, and a public dinner was given by the governor. Bonfires were lighted on each side of the cove at night, with which the ceremonies of the day concluded.
It had been imagined in England, that some, if not considerable savings of provisions might be made, by the quantities of fish that it was supposed would be taken; but nothing like an equivalent for the ration that was issued to the colony for a single day had ever been brought up.
We were informed, that the French ships, while in Botany Bay, had met with one very successful haul of large fish, that more than amply supplied both ships companies; but our people were not so fortunate. Fish enough was sometimes taken to supply about two hundred persons; but the quantity very rarely exceeded this. Three sting-rays were taken this month, two of which weighed each about three hundred weight, and were distributed amongst the people.